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Unlocking the full potential of human resources

Commonwealth Infrastructure Partners offers a range of Organisational Capacity Building programmes covering a broad spectrum of infrastructure sectors. Our programmes focus on developing international best practice in the organisation while enhancing the professional capabilities of the participants. CIP programmes aim to integrate managerial and technical skills, as well as creating good vertical integration in the organisation.

The accelerating march of technological progress

It is easy to forget that modern science and technology are only three centuries old. Technologies based on electricity only became prevalent from the latter part of the 19th century. Transistors – on which all contemporary digital technology depends – were only invented in 1948.

From the beginning of the 20th century there has been an explosion of technological advances, such that the application of technology is almost unrecognisable from one decade to the next. Moore's Law reflects the observation that computer processing power doubles every two years; a trend that has held true since Gordon Moore noted this phenomenon in 1965.

Technological development drives innovation and progress in every infrastructure sector

As the rate of technological development accelerates, the speed of innovation in all infrastructure sectors also increases. In some cases, new technologies lead to a leapfrogging effect, in which outdated technology is no longer an obstacle. A striking example is the telecoms industry in India. The ancient landline infrastructure impeded communications and growth for decades. The introduction of mobile technologies, first for voice communication and then for data, has led to a situation where the old landline network is no longer an impediment. Indeed, landline subscriptions are decreasing, as mobile subscriptions increase at five million per month.

Future proof capacity building in this age of rapid growth and transformation

Managers and technical experts in every sector – and in every country regardless of its stage of development – must be conversant with international best practice in their sector. Equally important, capacity building must be future proof. It must train professionals not only in current techniques, but also in how to learn and adapt to new developments, and even better, to anticipate future trends.

CIP approach to capacity building for the 21st century

CIP uses strategies and methods in its capacity building programmes designed to equip professionals with the best knowledge and strategic tools, while developing the ability to understand and anticipate new developments in their field.

Capacity Building Triangle

A successful organisation has to be well integrated, both vertically and horizontally.

Horizontal integration: Managers must be competent to understand the technical processes in their organisation, and the technical experts must be operationally familiar with the management structures.

Vertical integration: Senior managers and technical experts must understand every aspect of the skills and job roles of the work force. Technicians, line managers and supervisors have to comprehend the overall workings, objectives and structure of the organisation.


CIP capacity building strategies

  • CIP engages leading sector specialists to design and deliver programmes, using specialists with access to international best practice in both the UK or other developed economies and in the countries where the programmes are to be delivered
  • CIP uses innovative methods for participants to develop their knowledge and expertise, with an emphasis on practical, on-the-ground experience during and after training
  • CIP customises its programmes, consulting the client organisation and sector specialists to develop the most appropriate content and delivery methodology
  • CIP works closely with the management and technical experts of the client organisation in the development, delivery and follow-up of the programme
  • CIP integrates management and technical capacity, through the capacity building triangle approach

Customised capacity building programmes for the public and private sectors

CIP works with the client organisation to determine the optimum capacity building programmes for their requirements including:

  • The duration
  • The level
  • The format

Every infrastructure sector in every country differs in its level of practical competence and international experience. Professional training programmes for managers and technical experts must take these differences into account in their design and delivery.

We customise our programmes to create the optimum content, structure and mode of delivery. We do this by:

  • Consulting with the leaders and project directors of the client organisation to identify the main needs and challenges, and thus the main objectives of the required programme
  • Evaluating what is currently on offer in the country
  • Examining relevant best practice globally
  • Engaging subject matter and sector specialists to design and deliver programmes
  • Evaluating and monitoring the success of a programme, and enhancing or modifying the content as necessary

Programme duration

CIP capacity building programmes include:

  • 5-day workshops
  • 3-6 month work-based learning programmes
  • Postgraduate level sector-specific training programmes

Work-based learning

Action learning, or work-based learning, is at the heart of many successful contemporary professional education programmes. Work-based learning differs from the usual classroom-based model. It integrates material learned in the classroom with the application of this knowledge in a practical, work-based environment.

Learners integrate the new knowledge into their repertoire of practical competence; they retain the knowledge, since they have applied it in a real life situation; and they have an immediate understanding of the relevance of the material they have learned. Work-based learning is at the heart of many of our capacity building programmes.

Professional engineering degrees

It is generally recognised that only around 25% of engineering graduates are competent to be effective in their career on graduation. This statistic holds true across many countries. In the UK, the Engineering Council commissioned the development of an MSc in Professional Engineering to fill this vacuum.

Based on the success of this MSc, a BEng in Professional Engineering has now been developed. These degrees are offered through various UK universities. CIP Director Jonathan Ling was responsible for much of the development and implementation of these two successful cutting-edge degree programmes.

Sector specialists

We engage sector specialists to develop and deliver the curriculum for each sector and specialism. Too often, curriculum development and teaching are taken care of by faculty members who are either not up to date or who do not have sufficient specialist knowledge in the topics they teach. We circumvent this shortcoming by engaging specialists who are at the top of their professions, and who have practitioner career experience.

International focus

We ensure that our programmes have exposure to international best practice through the participation and contributions of our sector specialists and through the content of the programmes we design and deliver.

Professional institution affiliation

Our team and our associates are highly placed in professional organisations in the UK and worldwide, including:

  • The Institute of Physics (IoP)
  • The Engineering Council
  • The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMEchE)
  • The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)
  • The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
  • The Commonwealth Association for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Educators (CASTME)
  • The Indo European Business Forum (IEBF)
  • The Decision Sciences Institute
  • The Emerging Directions in Global Education Forum